Tomato home Greenhouse


Hi to all,
I’m growing tomato in a Dutch bucket hydrophonic system inside a greenhouse. The greenhouse is out side in my back yard so it gets plenty of sun.
I’m interested to utilize food computer open source or other open source in order to control climate environment under the sun.
It is clear that I don’t need light, but I would need robotic arm to open greenhouse window to reduce humidity and temp.
I am intending to integrate heater, vents, fertilizers, ph and acid, robotic arm, water pump and camera.
I would like to create the core and enable outputs to 220v consumers (heaters, vents etc).
Do you guys have any experience with such a project, what is the best environment for an MVP?

Is there a way to integrate Greenhouse and Food computers

Have you already googled for stuff like “Arduino greenhouse automation”? If not, I’d recommend spending a while browsing greenhouse automation projects people have done to get ideas about what’s possible.


Hi @wsnook thank you for the reply.

  1. Why Arduino and not raspberry Pi, as I’d like to monitor what’s going online through the web.
  2. In addition, which open source project would be the best to work with on the long term.
  3. Why does AG project wouldn’t work for this. I understand it could be overshoot- but maybe customizing downgrad version could be better for me.
  4. I have googled it myself, but the question which open source project will be easiest to start with.
    Kind regards

  1. I prefer Pi, I’ll leave it at that.
  2. I suggest hacking the MVP into a greenhouse controller. I’m actually doing this myself for the St. Louis Science Center who has an aquaponic greenhouse. Our MVP currently has temp/humidity logging, 4 relays, and a webcam, this should meet all of your requirements.
  3. I would start with just data logging (Webcam, temp, humidity) then actuate your vents, then if you’re still rolling try for things like PH/pumps. Those tend to be the most difficult as they can result in catastrophic crop failure.
  4. $300 Food Computer or you can buy the “brain” direct from here instead of building your own:

If you dig into the MVP and need help adapting the software I am happy to support you as I have a similar goal to modify MVP for a variety of applications.


@SpaceGardner and @Webb.Peter, I apologize for asking a confusing question. It seems like my intent was sufficiently unclear that I inspired responses to unrelated subjects that I didn’t mention. My mistake–I’ll try to do better.

@SpaceGardner, The existing code and designs from the OpenAg group at MIT are intended for fine-grained control over the climate in indoor growth chambers. That’s what “climate recipes” are about. But, you have asked about automating ventilation and data collection in a greenhouse where the climate is largely determined by your local weather.

There are large practical differences between greenhouses and insulated indoor growth chambers.

The wording of your question suggested that you might not be familiar with existing greenhouse automation projects–many of which use Arduino. I asked if you have looked at any of those projects because doing so would give you more context for evaluating whether OpenAg is a good fit for your goals.

I can’t tell you what project would best suit your needs–you’ll need to decide for yourself.


If it’s in a greenhouse or a winter box i’ say even ditch the arduino or the pi automation and go even more low tech. They have solar hydraulic vent openers. I’ve never used one, but i want one. :wink:


The solar hydraulic vent openers are based on contraction and expansion. The cylinder is filled with wax. When it gets hot it will expand and open the vent. When it gets cold it will contract and close the vent. They are a very inexpensive way to automate roof vents. Here’s a link to a page with more information.


For large, heavy vents, a 12vdc electric car scissor jack and a little ingenuity is a good option. It will provide more control, lifting capacity, greater range of movement and doesnt rely on springs to keep the vent closed in a gale.
Its worth considering the performance of passive vents is limited by temperature difference, size/area and number of vents and especially the height difference between the upper and lower vents.
The effectiveness of automating a greenhouse depends on what systems you have in place to actively alter the variables you are trying to control. Passive airflow enabled by a slow moving, wax driven, piston isnt control in the true sense but its better than nothing :wink: